The North Carolina Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NCACTE) hosted the 40th Annual North Carolina Teacher Education Forum this past September in Raleigh, North Carolina, where Loury Floyd, Ph.D. ’03 received an award for her leadership and service to North Carolina educator preparation programs.
Floyd served as President of NCACTE from 2013-2015 where she led the organization’s advocacy work and found creative ways to systematically engage deans of schools of education. Floyd found ways for the organization to move into proactive rather than reactive spaces with policymakers and initiated a Deans’ Breakfast at the NCACTE annual meeting, where leaders could engage and share challenges along with solutions.
“When I was announced as a recipient of this award, I was filled with gratitude, because I knew that the recognition had came from my peers” shares Floyd. And just as grateful as she is to have been honored with this award, Floyd reflects on her time at William & Mary with gratitude for preparing her for the work she has been able to accomplish, because of her mentors, scholarship, and learning. “My mentors at W&M poured into me. I was a first-generation college student and a first-generation doctoral student. My mentors molded and shaped me into what they saw in me. I was able to study alongside these great scholars and receive funding at a prestigious university, which made a huge difference in my life and I am grateful” shares Floyd.
It was at W&M that Floyd found her passion for higher education. “I was a Leadership Fellow at W&M, so my education was fully funded. This allowed me to leave my job and fully immerse myself in higher education. I fell in love with higher education and could see myself navigating these spaces” comments Floyd. At W&M, Floyd remembers an impactful trip to Washington, D.C. where her professor, Dr. Brenda Williams, connected her class with policymakers at the United States Department of Education. “It was powerful to see behind the scenes, and I was introduced to the importance of accreditation work. I give W&M lots of credit for how I was prepared to do this work” shares Floyd. This trip, as well as the mentorship she received from professors and the work she was able to support, prepared her to serve in her current leadership roles.
Following her studies at W&M, Floyd moved to North Carolina in 2004 where she was a grant coordinator and earned a tenure-track position at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. From there, she became an assistant professor, tenured associate professor, associate dean, and department chair. Now, Floyd serves as Dean of the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Floyd’s leadership will continue on a national scale as she has recently been elected to the Board of Directors of the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE). In March, Floyd will begin her service on the Board for a three-year term. She is excited for this opportunity and has a vision for the future of teacher preparation, “In a nutshell, we need to find creative ways to address the teacher shortage, so that our students have high quality teachers in front of them. We need more teachers and leaders of color navigating in rural spaces. We need to fund teacher preparation programs that allow us to create various pathways to become quality teachers.
She reflects, “When I came to W&M, I was hopeful I would make a positive difference in the lives of children and how we prepare teachers. But I never imagined the places I would go from there.”